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Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

I know movies and advertisers are moving from live actors to animations because they’re popular, fun, and cheaper than real people but I’m struck by the depictions of characters with personalities in medical commercials. Does anyone else find this odd? Here’s a partial list off the top of my head:

Jublia – the spunky pink toe guy who fights fungus. He has a hat and facial characteristics.

Biotene – the blue rolling ball guy has huge teeth to highlight his work against dry mouth.

Mucinex – He’s fat and a slimy ugly green with a crude voice and demeanor.

Spiriva – The elephant on the chest of real people with COPD is quite vivid.

Belsomra – The hapless woman learns to control her sleep and it becomes an obedient pet.

Myrbetriq – I could watch this ad all day. I’ve seen it a hundred times and find it fascinating. What is that little bladder, ET? It has big eyes that mournfully stare at the woman as she drags her bladder all over the place. Why does the bladder emote so? Is it the association of bladder-water-tears or what? The woman actually looks at the attentive bladder while the doctor discusses the prognosis.

The other weird part of the Myrbetriq ad? The husband looks apologetically at the bowling alley clerk as his wife trots off yet again to the bathroom. I get that he’s tired his wife is always peeing but why is he ashamed of his wife to the clerk? There’s no line waiting; that is one sensitive hubby.

I DVR pretty much everything I watch and used to skip most ads, esp medical ones but I’m beginning to look forward to the new little folks. There might be something wrong with me looking forward to medical ads but I’m  betting there’s a drug with a cute animated character for that.

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The Eyes have it

I’ve been away for quite a while, partly due to my eye infections worsened by computer eye strain. Oddly enough, while recovering from this problem, my sister who is totally blind since birth, began to experience visual effects for the first time.

We’ve been exploring this all summer, while various docs decide if this is neural – migraine aura – or forgotten images stored in her memory when perhaps as an infant she could see some forms but lost that small bit of sight very soon. She loves that idea, that she could actually see a little for a little while as a child but couldn’t communicate that sight to us; that idea gives her hope. It seems that individuals who became blind – not born blind – can sometimes experience memories of sight within their minds. Was my sister always completely blind from birth? Or perhaps these were true hallucinations from some mental disorder, a possibility quickly rejected by everyone.

I adhere to the migraine aura, which is disappointing to a sister who has lived her life clinging to the faint hope that someday someone would discover a way to let her see, even if only for a short time. She has no concept what I look like or a tree or anything else. It’s been a fascinating summer for me but unfortunately a frustrating one for both of us. For a short time this summer I had patches on both eyes and for that short time I began to feel, ever so slightly, a little of her terror and frustration.

Here’s a little info: http://syndrome.org/charles-bonnet-syndrome/  and http://www.livescience.com/23709-blind-people-picture-reality.html

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MOTUS3thanks to Michelle’s Mirror for the graphic

Yeh what a track record. Turns out they were wrong on cholesterol, wrong on salt, wrong on margarine substitute for butter, wrong on eggs, wrong on aerobic exercise [thanks, Jane Fonda, for the knee/hip replacements all over America], and now it appears cancer has nothing to do with lifestyle such as food/exercise but is simply tough luck in most cases. http://www.whitehousedossier.com/2015/02/21/michelle-leads-government-kitchen/

Oh and that nasty coal that causes asthma all over Appalachia and America? Eh, not so much. Better look at cockroaches in your house. Which isn’t really new news, it’s been cited for many years that the #1 trigger for asthma is cockroaches in the home, #2 is mice/rats, which explains why there’s so much asthma in inner cities. Of course, some people worry about the souls of cockroaches so that could be a problem…. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/vegetarian-restaurateur-did-not-want-to-kill-cockroaches-on-moral-grounds-20150201-1313kf.html

A small victory over the nanny-state http://hotair.com/archives/2015/02/20/caveman-blogger-wins-right-to-blog-advice-about-food-and-fitness-without-a-state-license/

Forget about body-busting aerobics and running, work on getting strong. Here’s a month-long guide based on the Mark Rippetoe method of free weights. http://www.muscleandfitness.com/workouts/workout-routines/4-week-guide-starting-strength

This sounds gross but fecal transplants have had quite the success in immune-compromised patients fighting super infections, such as the elderly with C difficile. Now evidence begins to emerge that transplants from fecal-healthy but obese donors cause obesity in the sick recipients and transplants from fecal-healthy but skinny donors cause weight loss in the sick recipients. The gut, your brain’s in there, or at least some brain cells. http://boingboing.net/2015/02/07/turd-transplant-leads-to-rapid.html and http://www.bbc.com/news/health-31168511

As for the panel admiration of organic vegetarian diet, looks as though organic farming [which I use in my home garden] really is just a niche. http://geneticliteracyproject.org/2015/02/18/organic-agricultures-low-yields-arent-sustainable/

And that anti-GMO is anti-science rhetoric. Not only did the former co-founder of Greenpeace admit they made up the GMO ‘problem’ to raise money, there’s zero scientific evidence – even from enviros – that GMO is harmful and can tremendously increase much-needed yields in hungry nations. GMO is a First World problem that hurts Third World nations who can’t toy-shop at Whole Foods.

And he’s gone, folks. The charges of sexual harassment  there’s now 2 accusers have resulted in the chakra-squeezing resignation of the UN IPCC head Rajendra  Pachauri . The story hit WUWT and other anti-AGW sites last weekend but didn’t make the MSM. He’s gone amid an outpouring of admission that climate change was indeed his religion. Hey some of us have bee saying that a long time, buddy. What a nasty piece of work he was, and no scientist, has a poli sci degree, like gore. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/02/24/un-ipcc-climate-head-rajendra-pachauri-resigns-amid-sexual-harassment-allegations/  and http://www.climatedepot.com/2015/02/24/un-ipcc-chief-admits-global-warming-is-religious-issue-it-is-my-religion-and-my-dharma/ and http://www.climatedepot.com/2015/02/24/climate-depots-morano-statement-on-pachauris-resignation-the-ipcc-is-quietly-popping-champagne-corks-today-pachauri-gone-can-only-be-good-news-for-the-un-ipcc/

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And it’s a Monday, too

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Today was day 22 of the 21 Day Sugar Detox Diet. At Kroger today my husband was gleefully picking up his beloved popcorn – not on the diet – and lots of breads and fruits while I just stood there thinking what I thought on my last significant birthday – ‘how in the heck did I get here?’ I was momentarily confused while I tried to assess what I can or should eat. Gluten free? Sugar free? Organic? Meat? Fruit? Ah, it’s a bit of a mess.

I mostly stuck to the 21DSD diet, breaking it 3 or 4 times – okay it was 4 – to have a diet coke but I limited it to caffeine-free [everything is -free] and smaller drinks. Other than that, I didn’t eat sweet but I had small sweet potatoes twice while eating out. I theoretically approve of reducing my carb load but truthfully, I was sick an awful lot on this diet. The other day I made some Buttermilk Buns from the official cookbook and had some mashed cauliflower and I was so sick I had to take lots of medicine and stay up all night. The buns tasted horrible by themselves but not too bad with mayo, sausage pattie and fried egg but it seemed to symbolize my efforts to eat paleo.

Here’s what I concluded. I will continue to eat meat, and more meat than I currently do, but I’m not beating myself up if I don’t eat meats I don’t like or cuts I don’t like, and I will eat a healthy vegetarian meal if I like. Also, I’m scaling way back on certain foods that are common in paleo but I still can’t handle. Sunday night I read a post from Paleohacks which listed foods that can trouble some people eating paleo and the list had my name all over it. Nuts/seeds? Even if I soak nuts, they are a problem. A half-dozen nuts every few days is a minor problem, a dozen nuts every day is a major problem. Seeds are out, especially sunflower seeds. Nut flours are acceptable in small quantities and not every day. Raw veggies are out, as are some cooked ones unless very small quantities, such as cauliflower or kale. Some fruits such as apples, especially tart ones such as Granny Smith, cooked or not, are out. I’m giving up on some spices, I don’t care how healthy, notably ginger and turmeric. Several recipes use a baking soda/vinegar combo that I simply hated, the baked product always seem to burn my tongue.

It’s clear to me that I’ve spent years using starchy carbs, e.g., potatoes, as a cushion for digestive issues, and used cola syrup in fountain cokes for the same purpose. I can be more careful of that but I cannot – at least not yet – toss them aside. I’m clinging to my full-fat dairy foods and soothing foods such as avocados. One thing I found very useful on the diet, simply giving up on the idea of having a sweet treat or pastry very often, no matter what the ingredients or how ‘healthy.’ My top criticism of the cookbooks is that they make allowances for certain dietary preferences but there’s no assistance  to those of us who can eat dairy, no suggestions to substitute real buttermilk for soda/vinegar in the “Buttermilk” Buns, e.g.

Did I lose weight? I don’t know, I don’t weigh myself, only getting weighed at doctor visits but I’m less bloated and that’s all to the good. I drank more water and that’s a good thing, too. Here’s some other recipes I tried, all from the official 21DSD cookbooks:

Chicken Pot Pie was quite good, with a tasty crust that made crunchy tidbts when it fell onto the baking sheet. It was a pain to make but then all pot pies are pretty much a pain. The Cinnamon Cookies were sweetened with only mashed green-tipped bananas but they were a good treat one night when my husband desperately needed a diet pick-me-up. The Apple Chai Scones? They were quite good to eat – my husband liked them very well – but the combo of almond and coconut flours plus diced apples, coconut butter, and heavy spice made me very sick. I  find paleo recipes use a lot of cinnamon to balance the blood sugar, but sometimes that’s all I can taste in recipes so I’m learning to cut back but not give it up.

21dsd apple scones

21dsd cinnamon cookies

21dsd chicken pot pie2

21dsd chicken pot pie

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Actually it’s not too bad so far and presumably the worst part is over. Presumably. To be honest, I only miss one thing: my daily fountain Diet Coke. I don’t like coffee and a lot of tea hurts my stomach -herbal or otherwise – and I like my daily fountain coke. Think it’s actually the soothing cola syrup because I don’t like coke in a can or plastic bottle.

We’re trying to expand our sights a little – we’re doing okay with sandwiches in lettuce wrap – but we’re  relying on things we like – roasted chicken, avocado, green beans, lemon vinaigrette, bacon, roasted cauliflower, eggs, turkey, some ground beef, tuna, salmon, mild white fish – for our basics. I’m making bone broth tomorrow to use in chicken soup, but no noodles.

Fixing roast chicken is quite easy for this ex-vegetarian because you have to wear gloves for sanitary reasons and if I don’t want to stick my hand inside to get the gizzards, etc., then I just stand the chicken up and shake it a little. Yeh I know that’s cowardly but there it helps you transition. I will say the secrets to begin eating meat again are to stop paying attention to your feelings – after all you taught yourself to feel that way – and to quit visualizing animals as people – after all you taught yourself to visualize them that way. IOW, it’s all learned behavior so work to unlearn it.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is this: When I put together a family cookbook several years ago, I humorously asked my dad about eating possum while growing up. He said he grew up in a rural hollow during the Depression and they ate what they could find, often wild game, greens, mushrooms, berries, acorns to make flour, teas from wild shrubs or whatever they could grow from seeds and were happy to eat it. He said that possum is not different from eating wild turkey or whatever, it’s just a little greasier. He said city people today make fun of him for eating possum but he looked me in the eye and said, “If you get hungry enough, you’ll eat just about anything. I hope you never get that hungry.”

My daughter has a ton of allergies and went on the 21DSD – The 21 Day Sugar Detox Diet – last summer to help resolve some problems. She was happy with the result but found it challenging at first to eat enough protein and calories to stay active, since she works out hard multiple times a week, often using her version of a Mark Rippetoe approach. [http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_11?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=mark+rippetoe&sprefix=mark+rippet%2Caps%2C311]. To succeed, she had to try new foods, new combos, new cooking methods, and new shopping methods. Once I followed her to stores so she could buy chicken feet – yes, just little chopped off chicken feet – so she could make a better bone broth. At the end of the diet, she said to me, “Well it is different with some different foods but if you get hungry enough, you’ll eat just about anything.”

There you  have it folks, we’ve come full-circle food in 3 generations.  She searches out quality lard, wild greens, dairy from grass-fed animals, free range chickens, veggies from heirloom seeds, wild game, raw local honey and sorghum, raw nuts, Gluten Free flours, raw aged cheeses, non-dairy milks, and she laments pasteurization. Her great-grandparents would be so proud.

From the 21DSD book, I made Salmon Salad with Capers and Tomatoes and Banana-Nut Mini Donuts, with mashed green-topped bananas as the sweetener. The salmon salad was good but honestly, we don’t ever eat cold /room temp salmon so it was a little weird. We typically only eat salmon as croquettes – okay we call them patties – so it was a bit of a learning curve but no biggie. Next up, Salmon Steaks, which Sissy and not-Sissy2 love but we don’t eat. I tried it once roasted with some kind of wood at a restaurant and didn’t like but we’re going to try again.

I first fixed the donuts w/o baking soda – put them into the oven and uh oh there was the baking soda on the counter- and they were edible but tried them the next night and they were much better. Think I liked them better than the ones I tried from Against the Grain. Although I used good-quality – Wilton – non stick donut pans and greased them with coconut oil, they stuck both times so fair warning. Walker’s donuts have never stuck. I spread good coconut butter over the tops, yum.

I also tried author Karen Kingsbury’s Low Carb Pizza recipe and thought it was delicious. It calls for an ungreased cookie sheet but I recommend a light greasing with olive oil. I topped mine with a homemade sugarfree tomato sauce, an olive mix, artichoke hearts, fresh basil, a little smoked Gouda and a drizzle of EEVO. It tasted like pizza. Here’s the easy recipe:

Karen Kingsbury Low Carb Pizza

7 eggs     7 c shredded mozzarella  1 tsp oregano     1 tsp basil

Mix and spread on cookie sheet. Bake 450 for 15 min.

Add toppings bake 10 min more

Here’s pics, pizza on top:

egg pizza2

salmon salad21dsd donuts

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News Roundup: Health Edition

There’s a Crossfit facility in Lexington and I sometimes see very fit people doing strength training while running on the sidewalks. My hairdresser does it off/on and she’s extremely fit. http://maggiesfarm.anotherdotcom.com/archives/25481-Crossfit.html

I like this, hope it pans out. : http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/01/04/new-version-of-common-antibiotic-could-eliminate-risk-of-hearing-loss/

It’s not so much that rats love lingerie – real rats, that is – but if they experience sex with female rats wearing ‘lingerie’ then they recall that pleasant interlude and will choose mates dressed that way on later occasions. http://www.livescience.com/48980-rats-sexual-attraction-lingerie.html

I’m a believer in Vitamin D and take it daily. http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2015/01/05/research-suggests-vitamin-could-affect-brain-function/kdJThHsLlEpVRrdaesCS0K/story.html?hootPostID=c38772c4a581f4af889bbc3d6f5fa39c

Here in Kentucky especially Eastern Kentucky, we’re always getting hit with cancer claims. Heredity, cigarettes, too much fat, bad diets, too much booze, depression, bad logging practices, underground mining, strip mining, Mountain Top Removal, antiestablishment personalities, bad sewers, air pollution from refineries/factories/power plants, water pollution from refineries/factories/power plants, lead pollution from too many bullets/hunting, underserved health care, bad dental practices, chewing tobacco, too much meat-eating, insecticides, fertilizers, and much more. Either something we do or blame Mama and Daddy. Turns out it may just be rotten random bad luck from cells that mysteriously mutate. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/06/health/cancers-random-assault.html?ref=health&_r=0

A humorous look at New Year’s diets. We’re doing okay so far. We ate out last night with another couple and I had a Chicken Caesar Salad w/o croutons but weakened and had a small fountain Diet Coke, no refill. Sugars of any kind, including artificial, are out so I cheated. It was a really good Diet Coke but I’m being perfect today in atonement.

http://www.bostonherald.com/news_opinion/columnists/2015/01/graham_chew_on_these_diets_from_favorite_pols

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